Tag Archives: satire

Massive Communications outages a clear sign Cloverfield monsters are coming

The following is a NEWS PARODY and not part of the actual Cloverfield ARG.

This Monday there were massive internet service disruptions, starting with reports that T-Mobile’s network was down followed by Sprint, ATT, Verizon, and Comcast. Then the servers for Call of Duty went offline, followed by Fortnite, Twitch, Facebook, and Instagram. Even Google itself was having problems. The blackouts were global.

Users speculated the outages were cause by a denial-of-service attack, a type of cyber warfare where services are flooded with excessive access attempts from computers infected with malware. Users in the U.S. were certain Russian hackers behind the attacks, no doubt begining their efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election. The hacker collective known as Anonymous pointed the finger at actors in China and North Korea.

There was just one problem with these theories. According to Cloudflare, one of the largest companies proving DDoS mitigation, the traffic impact to online services was normal.

It turns out there were gashes in the Submarine Communications Cables that stretch across the sea bed. According to the Coast Guard, these claw marks resemble ones found at the Chuai Drilling Station after it collapsed off the coast of Connecticut in 2008. And we all know what happened a few days after that. A 275 foot Large-Scale Aggressor emerged from the Atlantic and cut a path of destruction throughout New York City.

The LSA, codenamed Cloverfield, was neutralized when the air force executed the Hammer-Down Protocol leveling Manhattan island. The creature’s remains are on display at the Manhattan Memorial in upstate New York. Marine mammologists, ichthyologists, and paleontologists are still debating what the Cloverfield LSA was. Some speculate that it was quadrupedal. Others theorize that it only walked that way because it was an infant.

The only thing marine biologists agree on is that there are likely more of these creatures nestled into the deep trenches of the ocean. The internet service outages seem to confirm their suspicions.

Preparing for another Cloverfield Attack

Coastal cities all over the world are treating the LSA threat like a hurricane with teeth. The national guard has withdrawn from the demonstrations in Midwest and set up observation posts along the nation’s beaches. The United States Geological Survey is scanning the ocean for seismic activity. And the National Reconnaissance Office has shifted its surveillance satellites from metropolitan areas to the coastline.

Civilians are investing in industrial storm shutters, emergency kits, and prosumer camcorders with long-range zoom lenses and optimal night vision.

This morning a Squadron of helicopters in Rio de Janeiro draped a tarp over Mount Corcovado in an effort to conceal the titanic statue of Jesus Christ. In Lushan County of the Henan Provence of China, workers are painted the colossal Buddha black in the hopes it will blend into the night sky. Las Vegas is demolished the Replica Statue of Liberty just in case another Cloverfield LSA attempts to eat.

The United Arab Emirates has evacuated the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. New York has mandated any building over 40 floors switch off its lights before sundown. And Los Angeles has setup searchlights in Skid Row to shift potential LSAs away from better parts of the city.

The Cloverfield LSA was host to unique Human Scale Parasites which had latched onto its body like barnacles. One bite from an HSP caused fatal hemorrhaging within 20 minutes. Rome has sealed off its catacombs to prevent HSPs from nesting there. Portland has shuttered its tourist tunnels and San Francisco has blocked its sewers for the same reason.

Meanwhile Miami Florida is taking no precautions.

Are we even certain Cloverfield LSAs live in the ocean?

After the Cloverfield Incident of 2008 there was speculation that the giant monster was meant to be a shock and awe tactic, the first wave of an alien invasion. Others believed the LSA came through a breach caused by a particle accelerator aboard the Cloverfield Space Station (no relation).

The US Intelligence Community has rejected both of these theories, deeming them too far fetched to warrant any real connection to original Cloverfield Incident.

The Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, went on the record to say, “If you ask me 2020 is the most likely time we’d see a sequel to the initial event.”

“And you base that on the Submarine Communications outages?” I asked.

The defense secretary shrugged. “I base it on everything else that’s happened. A global pandemic. A recession. Cops killing unarmed civilians. Riots. These international outages. Why not add some giant monsters to the mix, right?”

The defense secretary undid his tie, retrieved a flask from his jacket, and wandered across Pennsylvania Ave, oblivious to the White House staffers asking where he was going. He has not been seen since.

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Continue reading Massive Communications outages a clear sign Cloverfield monsters are coming

Trump campaign demands CNN poll dimensions where he’s winning

President Donald Trump’s campaign is demanding CNN retract a poll that showed Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and then broaden their survey to include Americans from parallel dimensions.

The order came as a cease and desist letter riddled with quantum mechanics equations and metaphysical misconceptions. CNN’s legal team is still puzzling over exactly what the Trump campaign is proposing.

“They’re trying to move the goalposts outside the known universe.” said Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman.

In the letter to the network, the Trump campaign argued the CNN poll skewed monoverse-centric and spat in the face of quantum psychics.

“Our position is simple.” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. “To quote Kanye West, ‘There are infinite and alternate universes.’ So to measure the president’s position accurately you need to count everyone across the multiverse.”

Matt Dornic scoffed at the press secretary’s reasoning. “We’re not having a quantum election. There’s no need to poll people from universe where Trump has acquired a sports almanac from the future, or the axis powers won World War 2, or Nixon served five terms. Those voters aren’t registered here.” Dornic threw up his hands. “And how the hell would we survey them if we wanted to?”

Kayleigh McEnany counted all the methods on her fingers. “You could use transwarp conduits. Apparition spells. Magic wardrobes. Desert doorways. The speed force. Warp whistles. Magic mirrors. Mage portals. Time tunnels. Primer boxes. Subtle knives. Slider timers. Spore drives. Portal guns. Sling rings. Farcasters. Hyperspace gates. Jump gates. Rift gates. Even Stargates. There are literally a ton of options.”

Matt Dornic rubbed his eyes as he watched footage of McEnany counting. “None of those things are real.”

“Maybe not here,” Kayleigh McEnany paused the footage of Matt Dornic’s response. “But in the Miles Morales multiverse, where there’s a samurai Spiderman, some of that stuff exists. Are you telling me people in Shi’ar Empire don’t deserve to have a voice here?”

Matt Dornic paused Kayleigh McEnany on his phone. He balled his hand into fist and set his flaring nostrils into his knuckles. “The Shi’ar Empire is autocratic. Their Majestrix wasn’t voted into power. Her brother was rendered comatose by the M’Kraan Crystal and she took over. Which is a moot point because D’Ken Neramani never even conquered Earth 616.”

“Neeerd!” Kayleigh McEnany cackled back.

Matt Dornic stomped around the rim of his office. “You’re the one telling us to toss the SSRS poll in favor of the many worlds theory. We don’t need to go looking for Schrodinger’s cat in the ballot box. It doesn’t matter how Donald’s doppelgänger Is doing against Bizarro Biden. Maybe Trump is kicking ass in mirror dimension where goatees and fascism are in fashion, but not in the one I’m standing in.”

“OK, Sheldon.” Kayleigh McEnany put her phone down on the desk. “We stand by our position. Any poll that doesn’t include infinite earths, the Twilight Zone, or Battleworld is phony and misleading.”

McEnany tugged the cord for a projection screen, revealing a network of yarn, pins, and newspaper clippings. “Imagine a reality where Trump didn’t hypothesize using cleaning products to treat COVID-19. Where he didn’t say, ‘We’re dominating the streets with compassion.’ Where he didn’t refuse to rename bases that had been named after confederate leaders. Where he didn’t schedule a campaign rally on Juneteenth at the site of the Tulsa race riot. Where he didn’t have attendees sign a waiver in case they contract the coronavirus. Where he didn’t eliminate non-discrimination health benefits for gay and transgender patients. Imagine how much better Trump might be polling over there.”

According to data aggregated by Nate Silver for FiveThirtyEight, Trump is polling well behind Bernie Sanders in the dimension where the Vermont Senator clinched the democratic nomination. What Silver finds interesting is how far back Trump lags behind Mitt Romney in a reality where Trump remained a Democrat, or how far back Trump lags behind Jesse Ventura in a reality where Trump stayed with the Reform Party, or how far back Trump lags behind Kanye West in a reality where West followed through on his plan to run for president in 2020.

Matt Dornic scrolled through FiveThirtyEight’s data, then turned to this reporter and asked, “How were they able to survey voters in other realities? What did they have? An interdimensional wrist watch? A copy of the Necronomicon? A recovered UFO? What?”

I shrugged. “Something to do with tachyon particles.” I really didn’t know.

Dornic took a deep breath, ran his fingers through the Zen garden on his desk, and exhaled. “CNN stands behind our poll. In this reality or any other.”

•••

Continue reading Trump campaign demands CNN poll dimensions where he’s winning

Trump threatens to regulate Black Mirror for taking all his best ideas

Donald Trump is no stranger to wild accusations. Recently he accused former Defense Secretary James Mattis of being “The world’s most overrated general.” This statement came after Mattis criticized Trump for being the first president who has not tried to unite the American People. Not long before that Trump accused Twitter of censorship when they began fact-checking his tweets. Trump went so far as to sign an executive order that would open social media companies up to liability. He even had the audacity to accuse Black Lives Matter protestors of being aligned with terrorists.

But now President Trump is making an accusation he’s never made before: plagiarism.

In a press conference on Monday Trump said, “I believe White House staffers are leaking classified intelligence through the Netflix original Black Mirror. I can’t tell you how many of my suggestions I’ve seen on that program. I told the secret service to put tracking chips in my cabinet members to suss out the leakers, and a few days later I saw the same idea on Black Mirror.”

While the episode the president is referring to “Arkangel” was released in 2017 it didn’t stop him from drawing further connections. According to anonymous staffers the protests have Trump spit-balling more and more strategies that resemble episodes of the science fiction anthology.

They gave us several examples. “When the defense secretary told the president that servicemen don’t want fire upon American civilians the president proposed implanting soldiers with neural implants that would make civilians look like vicious mutants.”

No one had the heart to inform the president that his suggestion was the plot of a Black Mirror episode titled, “Men Against Fire.”

Trump went on to lament James Mattis going rogue and writing a tell-all editorial. Trump was so worried about future embarrassment he floated replacing Defense Secretary Mark Esper with a lifelike facsimile.

“Why can’t we get Elon Tesla to build us a robot?”
“Because the general’s wife will know the difference between a cyborg and the man she married.”
“What if we get Mark Facebook to program a personality based on the defense secretary’s social media activity.”
“You mean like in that episode of Black Mirror ‘Be Right Back?’”

Trump tried to flip the Resolute desk before playing it off as though he was merely struggling with a drawer on his way to finding a pen. “Here it is. Have someone oil this hinge.”

A press conference straight out of Black Mirror

By the time the president made his announcement he had several more examples of ideas that had found their way into the show.

“I am your president of law and order. It isn’t enough to bump a suspect’s head before putting them into a paddy wagon. We need real deterrents. I was telling the attorney general that we ought to sentence criminals to televised torture. We could give them amnesia and have masked contestants chase them around. Every day we could wipe their memory and do it all over again. I mean, they’d get exercise. They’d get out to see the sun. There’s nothing cruel and unusual about it. But you know what the attorney general says to me? ‘Oh, you mean like in that episode of Black Mirror?’

Well, you know me I’m the most level headed guy you’re ever met. So I pitch Mr. Barr another idea. What if we sold keychains with recordings of death row inmates final moments? You know, something nice for the families of their victims. And you know what Barr says, ‘Oh, you mean like that episode of Black Mirror?’ The guy’s like a parrot. A big far parrot.

So I moved onto the Department of the Treasury with a different pitch: Yelp, but for people. Someone asks you a nasty question, writes a nasty article, you give her a low star rating. Then she goes to buy a home, the bank looks at her star rating, and they don’t to give her a lone.

And Steve said, ‘You mean like that episode of Black Mirror?’

I take a step back. I take a deep breath. I’ve got a lot of great ideas so I move on. I said had this great idea for streamlining the back to work initiative. Put unskilled workers on exercise bikes and make them generate power. And anyone who isn’t healthy enough for spin class has to clean up after them. You know, jobs for everyone. But guess what secretary of labor tells me?”

Trump affected a child-like shrill, “‘You mean like that episode of Black Mirror? You mean like that episode of Black Mirror? You mean like that episode of Black Mirror?’” He scratched his nails down the podium as he spoke.

The president called upon the FCC to comb through Netflix’s catalogue for other offenses. “I’ve heard House of Cards has taken a bunch of my ideas.”

He also called upon the British government to extradite Charlie Brooker, the showrunner for Black Mirror, to the U.S. where Brooker could be charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917.
When pressed for a response Brooker said, “This is so bizarre. I wrote an episode of Black Mirror about exactly this. It was called ‘Head like a Hole” and it wasn’t slated to be released until 2021.”

President Diggory Treningham orders all Renaissance Festivals reopened

This Friday President Diggory Treningham held his most baffling press conference yet. It commenced with a kingly proclamation and culminated with jugglers hurling torches across the Rose Garden.

It started with a herald emerging from the White House. He wore a feathered cap, a short coat, and tights. He wielded a long horn adorned with a golden banner. When he stepped up to the podium he swatted all the microphones aside. “Hear ye! Hear ye! You sit in the presence of Diggory Greathands of the house Treningham. Rightful heir to a million dollar loan. Rightful heir to his father’s estate. Champion of the electoral college. The protector of Christmas. The builder of walls. The father of birtherism and the jailer of children.”

The herald was flanked by secret service agents in medieval armor. When the president finally arrived he was carried out on a palanquin. As he neared the podium he was fitted with a fur-lined red velvet mantle, a golden crown, and a bejeweled scepter.

President Treningham balled his hands to fists and held them to his chest. “A plague has washed over these lands. And everyone from the highest born lord to the lowliest peasant has had to make concessions. Dining halls, markets, and taverns have shuttered their doors. But there is one institution that is essential for preserving the soul of the realm. The Renaissance Festival.”

President Treningham waved his hands as if to conduct the press corps. “Where else can a woman of easy virtue showcase her cosplay? Where else can a blacksmith premiere his 3D-printed armor? Where else can Star Trek LARPers act as if they’ve stumbled upon an ancient civilization, but the Ren Faire?”

The president found a turkey leg somewhere beneath the podium. He took a bite and spoke with his mouth full. “Where else can a pair of project managers knock each other off a log? Where else can you see an offseason Krampus? Where else can you open carry a crossbow?”

The president brandished his scepter over the press corps. “The wardens of the fifty kingdoms will open their Ren Fairs, from Midsummer Eve through St. Crispin’s Day, lest they wish to be tried for treason.”

Constitutional scholars will be unpacking Treningham’s decree for some time. The area most of them will be focusing on is how it violates the 10th Amendment. The 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Treningham’s contradiction already had the press corps riling with questions, but the president was far from done.

He took a swig of something from a tall ceramic stein. “In the realm of America we need more merriment. Not less. We mustn’t let this pestilence cost us our freedom of reverence.”

Treningham stepped out from behind the podium and lorded over the members of the press with no mind for social distancing. “I call upon the bards to aim their lutes at this nation’s ample chested women and cuckhold their husbands through song. I call upon the tavern wenches to brace themselves for backhanded advances from ale-addled tourists. I call upon the puppeteers to raise their theaters, wake Mr. Punch, and give this virus the flogging it so richly deserves.”

Treningham raised a silk glove to his brow. “Look to the covered wagons lining Pennsylvania Ave and you will see a nation of carnies clamoring to return to their craft. It is time for those tarot readers, pickle vendors, and dragon egg sculptors to get back to work.”

And right on que a troop of harlequins vaulted over the hedges and performed a series of backward handsprings across the lawn. Their bells jingled with every movement, forcing the president to shout, “Under the defense production act, I order the nations fripperies to keep those corsets coming. I order our metalsmiths to get those brass unicorns back into production. I order our glassblowers to make sure every man, woman, and child has their very own crystal dragon.”

The sun set as President Treningham rattled off his orders. His final words were emphasized by a row of fire breathers.

“A toast to the people of the realm.” The president raised his beer stein. “May the mead flow freely. May the corn mazes be congested. May the dandy fops show off their sculpted calves. May every Ren Faire across the realm raise their gates to the public. Huzzah!”

Klingons hope to achieve herd immunity from Borg assimilation

The galaxy is being invaded by a civilization of cybernetic enslavers known as the Borg. The Borg spread like parasites, infecting hosts with nanoprobes and triggering the spontaneous generation of neural implants. These implants link to the Borg hivemind, turning sentient beings into a drones. While drones are technically alive, they lose all sense of individuality. They become a “we.” Their desires are replaced with a drive to assimilate.

Before the Borg came, Klingons were the most notorious conquerors in the galaxy. Their Empire has territories throughout the Alpha and Beta quadrants. They’ve reduced inhabited worlds into satellite states. They’ve forced natives to bow to Imperial Overseers. And much like the Borg, Klingons are a collectivists. Individuals are taught to service the Empire and deeply shamed whenever they fail. But that’s where the two cultures diverge.

Unlike the Borg, Klingons have a strong code of honor, personal responsibility, and spirituality. Klingons believe it is better to die in battle than be captured. They believe surrender is a form of treachery and that there is no greater sin than to kneel before a dishonorable opponent.

So why are the Borg taking over vast districts of the Klingon space, while the Klingons continue to go about their routines? At the time of this writing Klingons are still competing in bat’leh tournaments, packing into subterranean taverns, and singing over bloodwine.

Why aren’t the Klingons mounting any resistance?

The answer boils down to two factors: the Klingon code of honor and the Borg’s ability to adapt.

How the Borg contagion is spreading

The Borg used to flaunt their military might. One Borg could weaponize an entire star base. One tractor beam could scoop out an entire outpost. One cube could eradicate an entire armada.

The Borg were fierce, unrelenting oppressors, but they were also blunt. The collective lacked independent thinkers. Their battle patterns were determined by algorithms. They emphasized superior firepower over strategy. They assimilated the memories of their enemies, but they never learned to think differently. This failure of imagination led the Borg to defeat at the hands of the Federation n several occasions.

It appears the Borg have adopted a more surgical approach against the Klingons.

The Borg pathogen

Rather than charge into the heart of Klingon space, the Borg are attacking from a battle station beyond long range scans. This twelve-side vessel, dubbed the Borg dodecahedrane, is equipped with transwarp catapults. The technology allows the Borg to launch shuttles at Klingon worlds without ever being detected.

These shuttles are designed to burn up on entry, detonating a series of biogenic charges, and smothering the atmosphere in nanoprobes. These probes rain down on an unsuspecting population and spread like a pathogen. Klingons are assimilated just by breathing. They never have the chance to prove their courage much less engage their enemy. A far cry from the honorable death Klingons desire.

This is how the Borg plan to conquer the Empire, by engaging the Klingons in a different type of warfare.

The bewildering Klingon response

During the augment virus epidemic the Klingon High Council made the difficult decision to sterilize infected planets. That strategy won’t work this time. Borg drones have already installed planetary defense systems capable of withstanding heavy bombardment.

This has forced the High Council to come up with a creative solution, one the Federation finds troubling.

On stardate 77001 Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog, addressed the Empire. “Hear me sons and daughters of Kahless. We are at war with a silent enemy. An enemy who strikes from the shadows. Who fights without honor. Who preys on feeble minds.

Well, I will not be struck down in my bed. Nor will I cower in the caverns with a breathing tube in my lungs. I will climb to the top of Kang’s Summit, look to the heavens, and roar at the sun!

This enemy targets the weak. Worm farmers. Scientists. Monks. They have not yet faced hardened warriors. We will fight this plague by exposing ourselves to it. It will separate the weak from the strong.

This will be the new Rite of Antaak. Cowards shall submit, but those with courage, and Klingon blood in their hearts, shall survive. They will be like a pack ngavyaw’, immune to sickness. So who among you counts yourself worthy to join?”

Starfleet Medical is concerned

The senior faculty at the Starfleet Medical Academy were horrified by Chancellor Martok’s speech.

Dr. Joseph Switzer, a sentient EMH, was the first to speak. “Troubling.” The doctor is an authority on the Borg, having spent seven years stranded in the delta quadrant.

“While Borg nanoprobes behave like a virus, they are not organic. It doesn’t matter how healthy you immune system is. Every phagocyte, every lymphocyte, every cell will be assimilated. Klingons can’t win this fight by developing antibodies. When it comes to the Borg there’s no such thing as herd immunity. The only cure is to sever the assimilated from the collective. But to do that the Klingons will need help.”

Seven of Nine, a former Borg, has assembled a collation of rogue drones to aid in the relief effort. “We believe we can infiltrate assimilated planets and use our neural links to sever their connection to the collective.” Seven, for her part, has already mapped a battleplan. She just needs the Federation to approve it.

Debate on how to proceed

Starfleet is in a precarious situation. Should the Federation respect the Empire’s decision to treat the pathogen as a culling rite? Or should they use the rogue drones to save lives?

Lieutenant Commander Worf is both a Klingon and a senior member of Starfleet. He believes Starfleet should act and reframe their decision in the aftermath. “To a Klingon there is no greater honor than victory. The Empire need not know about any rogue drones. What they need is a enemy they can see. They need to stand with us against the Borg dodecahedron.”

Lieutenant Commander B’Elanna Torres is a Klingon and the Federation liaison to the Empire. She’s not so sure the Federation should act without the Empire knowing. “The Empire and the Federation have been at peace for one hundred years. During that time the Klingon High Council has bemoaned the loss of sacred rites and rituals. If they learn we acted without their consent that alliance could break down.”

It’s a moral quandary with consequences that could ripple throughout the galaxy. The type of conflict Starfleet hasn’t faced for some time.

More on this story as it develops.

Republicans want to consult the Dark Lord Mammon before passing another stimulus package

While states are easing lockdown restrictions many Americans are still in dire need of financial support. House Democrats have proposed a stimulus package that could help small businesses and the unemployed get back on their feet. But Republican senators aren’t so sure the extra spending is necessary.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel wanted to consult the Dark Lord Mammon before rushing into anything. Last night he and his fellow senators held a session that turned into a summing.

The Night Session

Mitch McConnell raised his hood over his head. He wore an ornate cloak of crimson and gold. He produced straight stemmed lighter and a set of tongs from its pockets.

There was an incense burner at his feet. He opened it, lit the charcoal, and topped it with salt and resin. McConnell took a long deep breath. Satisfied, he walked down the aisle holding the burner up high.

When McConnell came to the well of the senate floor he set the burner aside. He rolled back the carpet, plucked a gemstone from his pocket, and etched a sigil into the concrete. Then he drew a dagger from his waistband, sliced his hand open, and pressed his palm into the sigil, gritting his teeth to mask the pain. When the sigil was full the Senate Majority Leader craned his head back.

When McConnell spoke it was not the soft southern drawl he put on for the press, but rather the guttural gruff of a Shakespearean thespian.

“Lord Mammon. Baron of banks. Duke of debt. Emperor of avarice. He who rules the fourth circle, who sits atop the throne of worldly wealth. He whose controlling interest decides our fate. Your humble servants prostrate themselves before you.”

The senators kissed the floor.

McConnell spoke into the sigil as it boiled and bubbled. “Oh covetous one. We beseech you to grant us an audience.”

The senators chanted in a tongue that preceded American English by a millennium.

A breeze ran through McConnell’s hair, setting his bangs aflutter before circling around. The breeze became a whirlwind, tugging at the curtains, slamming doors, tossing flags like javelins.

The floor rumbled. The desks flipped over and the busts of the vice presidents fell from their stands. Cracks rippled across the ceiling, blanketing the senators in dust.

Then the lights went dim and something lumbered forward from the dark. Its footfalls were a thunder upon the floor, reducing the priceless mahogany furnishings to splinters. Senators scattered like sheep fleeing a wolf.

McConnell groveled as the dark lord Mammon towered over him.

“Speak.” Mammon’s word echoed throughout the chamber.

McConnell took a knee, a knight before his king. “A pandemic has ground our economy to a halt. People are uncertain. They’re buying less. Department chains are filing for bankruptcy. Restaurants are shuttering their doors. Millions of Americans are out of work and they want us to do something for them.”

McConnell counted the wants on his fingers. “Furloughed employees want unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, and food vouchers. While small business want federal loans. Tenants want rent forgiveness, while landlords want mortgage forbearance. Customers want reasonable prices, while essential workers want hazard pay.”

Mammon drew close enough for his breath to pass through Mitch McConnell’s robes. McConnell kept his spectacles fixed on the sigil. He dared not look the demon in his eyes.

“If we don’t provide federal intervention there will be a tidal wave of closures and evictions. We are looking at another great depression. The people want a stimulus bill, but we knew to consult you before doing anything.”

“Wise.” Mammon’s shadow shifted as to draw something from its silhouette. “We must consult the Economicon.”

McConnell leapt back as a book the size of a banquet table spread out before him.

Who is Mammon and why does he have so much sway in Washington?

Mammon is the demon king of money, while he may not be the most powerful demon in the Dukante hierarchy, but he has the most liquid assets flowing through the realm of man. Mammon has his claws deep in petroleum, in pharmaceutical opioids, and subprime mortgages.

He owns shares in everything from. Data harvesting social media companies to cancer causing chemical manufactures. From addiction model game publishers to predatory lenders. From slave labor factories to for profit colleges.

Mammon influences influencers. Political action committees. Washington lobbying firms. They all bow to him. Mammon has made campaign contributions to most sitting senators Republicans and Democrats alike.

Those who dare look upon Mammon say he has a crown of horns that thrust through his brow like a dying starfish. They say his face is locked in a predatory stare. His brow has been furrowed for so long there are trenches in the skin. He has green eyes. A silver tongue, and mouth full of sharks teeth.

Mammon wears a fur cap, a bejeweled bib, and golden robes. His hands are red and his palms are always slathered in grease. There’s hole where his belly should be. His pockets are singed with burn marks and he stands upon on a network of tendrils like roots rising from the ground.

This is who our nations fate resides with.

Back on the senate floor

After paging through the Economicon for an hour Mammon came to the passage he was looking for.

“A star does not concern itself with the rocks in its orbit. The rocks depend on it, but the star is all that’s important. May the market expand without concerning itself with the misfortunes of man.” Mammon slammed the book shut.

McConnel dared to raise his gaze. “So…that’s a no, then?”

“No handouts!” Mammon voice shattered every windows in the capital building. “No entitlements. No stimulus. Only prophet. So sayeth Lord Mammon, prince of prosperity, king of commerce, god of gold.”

And with that, struggling Americans were on their own.

•••

3D Demon model by Filip Hans Nyberg
Photoshop by Drew Chial Continue reading Republicans want to consult the Dark Lord Mammon before passing another stimulus package

Trump is taking wolfsbane to prevent himself from turning into a vampire

President Donald Trump confessed Monday that he has been imbibing wolfsbane as preventative measure to stave off the vampire epidemic.

“I started taking it a couple of weeks ago after the Lincoln Reflecting Pool ran red with blood. I saw the secret service erecting crosses on the White House lawn and I thought, ‘How can I fortify myself?’”

The press gallery answered in unison by holding up the crucifixes they’d been wearing.

The president waved that notion away. “I’m not wearing jewelry. I don’t even wear a wedding ring. No. I’m putting my weapon inside of me.”

Wolfsbane is a potion used in the treatment of lycanthropy. While it has been known to ease the effect of werewolf transformations there’s no evidence to suggest that it acts as vampire repellant, that it could prevent the contraction of vampirism, or that it could quell a thirst for blood.

Even haematomania, the overwhelming craving for blood, is treated with antipsychotics, not wolfsbane. That’s what makes the president’s self-prescription so confusing.

“Here’s my evidence, a lot of people who’ve never been bitten by vampires tell me it works.” Trump told dumbfounded reporters. “Wolfsbane is a game changer. It sounds tough. It makes me feel like I can go out at night. I can take a stroll through a mortuary and nothing can touch me.”

Medical professionals are baffled

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, warned viewers. “Aconitum napellus, or wolfsbane, is toxic. Its petals are poisonous to the touch. In small doses it will make your face go numb. In large doses it will cause nausea, paralysis, and stop the heart.”

Wolfsbane is so powerful shepherds used to stuff it into lamb carcasses to poison wolves. That’s where it got its name. The Spartans smeared it on their daggers and archers slathered it on their arrow heads.

Wolfsbane is both a neurotoxin and a cardiotoxin, meaning it effects both the brain and the heart. It does this by traveling through the blood stream, which is what makes it a bad weapon for thwarting vampires. Vampires are undead. Their hearts don’t beat. They achieve homeostasis through metaphysical means. Their digestion, capacity for speech, and sex organs are governed by forces not found on this mortal plane.

For preventative measures against vampires the FDA recommends:

  • Silver sulfadiazine cream
  • Garlic supplements
  • Holy water cologne
  • and Vitamin K

For self-defense the DOD recommends people carry:

  • A bag of rice, grains, or seeds.
  • A high output germicidal UV lamp
  • An expandable stake made of ash, oak, or cedar
  • And a side arm loaded with either wood, silver or ultraviolet ammo.

The president has put himself at greater risk

Based on the results from his latest physical the president is in the group most at risk of being exsanguinated by a vampire. He lacks the stamina to outrun healthier victims. He has a common form of heart disease and his blood is rich with fatty acids. To make matters worse the Bronx Colors concealer the president wears is rich with the preservative Phenoxyethanol. The aroma is said to draw vampires like catnip.

To make matters even worse the president has begun imbibing a poison that will slow his reaction time should a vampire get close enough.

The risk has strained the secret service. Agents now have to give covert protection when the president isn’t looking. Anonymous staffers say secret service agents have been researching natural substances to repel insects and other bloodsuckers. They’ve seen agents slipping garlic pellets into the presidents Tic Tacs, rosemary into his cheeseburgers, and lemon juice into his ice cream.

To counteract the aconitine toxins the president has been ingesting, secret service members have injected Atropine into his Diet Coke. Trump has yet to notice.

The president has triggered a wolfsbane shortage

Greenhouses across the country have reported break-ins shortly after the president’s admission. Thieves are stocking up on wolfsbane and turning around and selling it at a premium. While the Department of Health is concerned with Americans ingesting the toxin, the Department of Defense is worried there will be a shortage.

Communities that managed to combat the vampire pandemic have found the blood suckers left a power vacuum in the supernatural hierarchy. Their concerns have shifted to the other things that go bump in the night. Citizens have reported hearing howling from the mountains on the outskirts of town. And they are dreading the next full moon.

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Continue reading Trump is taking wolfsbane to prevent himself from turning into a vampire

Betsy DeVos Funnels Relief Funds to Stepford School for Wayward Girls

I usually don’t label my news parodies as SATIRE, but it’s become painfully obvious how few people have heard of the 1975 film The Stepford Wives. So, yes, this is article is fake. The portrait was Photoshopped. The image was meant to be a reference to the cyborgs in the aforementioned film and not a comment on Betsy DeVos’s appearance. If you want to slam her policies feel free, but leave her appearance out of it. Thank you. Now please enjoy this work of short fiction.

Misappropriation of funds

Late last March, congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The CARES act included $30 billion for academic institutions sideswiped by the pandemic. $14 billion for colleges and $13.5 for elementary schools with the remainder going to a charter program spearheaded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Ms. DeVos has set aside millions for the Stepford for School for Wayward Girls, in Stepford Connecticut. A boarding school whose credo is: The best environment for girls to reach their true potential is one that teaches time-honored roles. A credo more politicians are scrutinizing, given the school’s historic windfall.

“Stepford provides a service others refuse to,” said Dale Coba, headmaster of the school. “We take on lost causes: girls who post makeup-free selfies. Girls who quote suicidal poets. Girls who get no engagement from their male peers online. Our unique curriculum gives those girls hope.”

A review of the classes on offer show just how “unique” Stepford’s curriculum is:

History of Men’s Rights in America
Contemporary Male Interests
Sport Bar Studies
Bad Bitch Etiquette
Introduction to Elective Surgery
The Psychology of Smiling
Sexualization Education
And Housekeeping Sciences

Headmaster Coba doesn’t find it odd that the courses at an all-girl school are so male-centric. “Education shouldn’t just be about personal perfection. It should be about servicing the community.”

One Family’s Story

The Joneses agreed to speak under the condition of anonymity. They claim Stepford isn’t all it appears to be. Their daughter, Sydney, enrolled a year ago and they believe the experience has had an irreversible effect on her.

Ms. Jones said, “We just wanted Sydney to be happy, like her classmates on Instagram, doing yoga, chilling at the beach, posting motivational memes. Sydney was always blogging about how neurotypical people needed to broaden their capacity for empathy. She was always sharing videos on mood disorders, and statistics on depression.”

“It was bringing the extended family down.” Mr. Jones chimed in.

Ms. Jones nodded. “We had an intervention. We told Sydney that depression was a choice and that if she wasn’t going to choose to be happy we’d make the choice for her.”

A work colleague told Mr. Jones about the Stepford School for Wayward Girls. He said they converted his “gothic Griselda into a varsity Vicki.”

“Sydney threw a fit. She screamed, ‘Depression is not a choice. It’s a neurological condition,’ but we scooped her up and threw her in the van.’”

Stepford’s false front

Ms. Joneses recalled touring the campus and coming to terms with their decision.

“We were impressed. The headmaster used to be an engineer at Disneyworld. He had all these animatronic puppets in his office. The art teacher was so excited to meet Sydney he drew her portrait on the spot. The linguistics professor was taken by Sydney’s unique cadence. He brought us into his studio and had her record a few voice samples. I think it was the most attention Sydney’s ever gotten.

And the girls, they were all so happy and drama-free. They all had these lovely sun dresses and wide brim hats. Not a baggy hoody or a black patch in the bunch. They welcomed Sydney with open arms. She whispered that she didn’t belong and something felt wrong. I said, ‘Just try it out for a month.

Five months later, Sydney came home for Christmas and she was a whole new person, smiling and laughing, taking selfies on the lawn.

It wasn’t until we put on a movie when things took a turn. It was one of those intense dramas. Critics call them Oscar-bait. A character was weeping, coming to terms with their depression when Sydney turned off the television. Her only explanation was that there was too much negative energy in the world already.

Things got weirder once company came over. She circled the kids tables saying, ‘I’ll just die if I don’t get this recipe.’ Over and over. When it came time to eat she interrupted grace saying, ‘I know I shouldn’t say this, but I just love my brownies.’ Later she interjected a monologue about the cleaning power of Easy On Spray Starch.

I’m telling you whatever they’re doing up at Stepford it’s sending these girls back broken.

Betsy DeVos Disagrees

The Education Secretary has long been an advocate for private schools, vouchers, and a program she’s dubbed: The Cybernetic Replication Initiative. She says the conversation shouldn’t be about the funds diverted to Stepford, but rather American’s freedom to choose.

DeVos addressed the issue at the Education Writers Association’s seminar earlier this month.

“I think parents should be free to choose a curriculum that reflects their values.

I think they should be free to choose a safe environment for their children, whether that’s at home or at a private facility, and I think they should be free to swap disappointing loved ones with lifelike approximations.”

When asked to elaborate on the last part of her statement DeVos, creaked her neck and gave the questioner an vacant stare. After an eternity of heavy breath, DeVos stepped off stage and wandered from conference table to conference repeating the same phrase over and over.

“I’ll just die if I don’t get this recipe. I’ll just die if I don’t get this recipe. I’ll just die if I don’t get this recipe.”

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Continue reading Betsy DeVos Funnels Relief Funds to Stepford School for Wayward Girls

Trump says U.S. will Reopen, “Giant Saucers or no Giant Saucers”

Speaking from beneath the shadow of a flying saucer, President Trump addressed a frightened nation, “Earlier this month everyone was wondering if those Navy UFO videos were real. I thought they were. Then boom! I was right. But that’s no reason to call in sick. It’s time for Americans to stop saucer-gazing and get back to work.”

None of the White House press corps had their eyes on the president. They were too busy craning their necks at the spacecraft, with its fifteen mile radius stretched over Washington D.C.

Hours earlier the alien mothership created a shockwave that leveled a huge section of the Russian Boreal Forest. At one fourth of the moon’s size the craft has already had an impact on the tides. The streets of Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles are all under water, making it impossible for those cities to proceed as normal.

President Trump continued, “These developments have brought excitement to our nation’s business centers and the stock market is firing on all cylinders. Look at all of the trade opportunities. Look at the hungry new market just knocking on our door. They have crossed the divide between time and space to make a deal and the deal maker in chief is ready to come to the table.”

The president advised low income families to remain in the inner cities and resume working. He warned not doing so would disqualify them from receiving temporary assistance, unemployment, SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and property tax refunds.

That’s when an ominous green glow radiated from the underbelly of the craft, showcasing the intricacy of its design. Members of the press corps shot up from their seats with their mouths agape. The vessel blossomed like a giant argent flower.

President Trump tried to draw the crowd’s attention back down to earth. “I for one like the shade. It’s nice not having to wear sunscreen.”

The warning fell on deaf ears

Right before the president’s address, David Levinson, a satellite technician, was on the radio warning the American public about an alien threat. Levinson had evidence the saucers were using our satellite network to send encrypted messages to each other. He had decoded one and found a countdown. Levinson urged everyone to flee the major cities.

Truckers heard Levinson’s call to action and coordinated a relief effort over their CB radios. They lined their semis along Pennsylvania Avenue and did their best to wave the White House staff in. The plan was to fill the rigs with as many people as possible and drive them all to safety. When the truckers failed to get anyone’s attention they resorted to honking.

President Trump saluted the truckers. “And you hear that? That beautiful sound. Those are truckers that are with us all the way. Those are honks of support. They’re telling us to stay the course.” The president pantomimed pulling the cord for an air horn. “I love those guys. Tough guys. Manly guys. Big burly guys. The kind of guys that would sweep you off your feet and not show any lower back strain. Just carry you over the threshold like it was nothing.”

A bright turquoise beam illuminated the White House. Several members of the press core fell to their knees and clasped their hands in prayer.

The president didn’t notice. He gave two thumbs up and shouted, “Giant saucers or no giant saucers we are back in business!”

Then there was a spark and the cameras went dark.

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Continue reading Trump says U.S. will Reopen, “Giant Saucers or no Giant Saucers”

Wisconsin Supreme Court Votes to Invite Vampires into all Dwellings

In a stunning reversal of Governor Tony Evers’s sundown curfew the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an open invitation to all vampires into every dwelling within State lines. This includes private property, secure facilities, nightclubs, schools, and hospitals.

In vampire lore, ancient magics prevent the undead from entering these spaces uninvited. Once invited vampires are free to come and go until ownership changes. With this ruling, the only way for Wisconsin to rescind its invitation would be to secede from the union.

The effect was immediate

It wasn’t long before photos of crowded blood banks showed up on social media. Bloodsuckers took selfies from the ceiling as receptionists cowered beneath them. Some vampires donned stolen stethoscopes. Others wore brown stained scrubs.

The vampires instructed their familiars to pass around bartending gear. The medical staff was given one instruction. “You’ll need this to live.”

The technicians were immediately overwhelmed, mixing blood cells in cocktail shakers, pouring plasma from liquor spouts, stirring platelets with bitters droppers. Worse still, the vampires swarmed them with esoteric drink orders.

“Barkeep! I’ll have an Ottoman Sultan.”
“I’d like a Judas sunrise, easy on the serum.”
“One red dragon, for me and my friend.”

Once served the vampires clinked their glasses and sang, “Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon…”

Kaylee Suther was doing her rounds when a flurry of red capes descended onto her wing. All of sudden she was cramped behind a gurney mixing drinks. “This is what survival looks like. We watched them flip a colleague, stick him with a spigot, and drain him like a kegger. Every phlebotomist on the floor became a mixologist, like that.” She snapped.

Vampires are expanding their hunting grounds

Emboldened by Wisconsin’s crucifix shortages, vampires are appearing in the suburbs.

One vampire, in a long velvet gown, was seen etching glyphs into neighborhood watch signs. Another, in a corset with a keyhole neckline, was spotted collecting satellite dishes. And another, in a lace ensemble with sleeves that hung to the ground, was seen conducting a swarm of fireflies through the night sky.

Doorbell footage shows vampires scouting homes for defenses, unchaining pets, and ultimately hurtling doors into the trees.

Jason Campbell describes one such encounter. “I ducked behind the kitchen island when I heard the door tear off the frame. There was nothing in the reflection on the oven, but when I peeked around the corner there was vampire at the entryway. His foot was hovering over the threshold like he was testing the water. When he stepped inside he announced his presence, ‘I’ve invited myself in.’ He spoke with a put-on eastern European accent. You know when people sound like hicks, but they’re not from the south? He tented his satin gloves with childlike glee, ‘I’ve waited so long to say that.’

That’s when my father sprayed him with the AR-15. Groin, abdomen, chest, and face. Dad nailed every zone. The vampire fell flat on his back with a splat. I crawled over to check the body, but before I could the vampire was up again, pounding his fist into my father’s face. The vampire spat the bullets into his palm and one by one set them into my father’s gums. My mother and I were helpless to do anything, but listen. After an agonizingly long series of whelps and gurgles the vampire said, ‘Now you look like you’re happy to see me.’

The vampire bared his fangs and bit into my father. He took his time slurping, like he was imbibing a fine wine. He corked the bite mark and took a moment to swish the blood around in his cheeks. After gurgling it down he asked my father, ‘Were you born in 73? That was such a delicious vintage.’”

Fortunately for Jason the vampire drank its fill after draining both his parents. Other communities weren’t so lucky. Just ask Felix Afton the lone survivor of the Woodland Hills massacre.

Vampires are targeting wealthy neighborhoods

Felix Afton describes the night vampires took over his planned community.

“They rammed the gate with a jet black party bus. They blasted Toccata and Fugue in D minor for all the neighborhood to hear. Then they floated up to the windowsills and dove right in. I survived by spending the night inside my tanning bed. I knew those UV rays would keep me safe.”

The next morning Felix Afton found his neighbors’ entrails strung between pillars like a Viking blood eagle, their severed heads lining picket fences, and their bodies impaled on flag poles.

“The worst part is that party bus is still there, blaring Bach. It looks like these leech people are in for the long haul.”

Reports of vampire squatters are coming in from Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, and Elm Grove.

According to Mr. Afton the Woodland Hills vampires have begun draping fumigation tents over their windows, converting panic rooms into mausoleums, and importing coffins.

“Sometimes I see the Vampires walking survivors on leashes. I saw the Hutchens out there in their underwear with ball gags in their mouths. They had bitemarks up and down their necks. The vampires took turns glamouring them, making the Hutchens do tricks for their amusement.”

Mr. Afton has since invested in a fumigation tent, corpse blue body paint, and a pair of prosthetic fangs.

“Last night I saw them burning the Woodland Hills welcome sign in the middle of the street. The next day I went to see what had taken its place. The plaque read ‘Welcome to Hellmouth Heights.’”

Mr. Afton says he plans on moving once the housing market rebounds.

Wisconsin is a test bed for how other states will handle the vampire epidemic

The Fieldview Meat Packing plant is under new management. Lord Nicolai Chrysanthus has cut the first and second shifts and replaced all the nighttime staff. He’s broken contracts with meat suppliers. And according to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency he’s left a mountain of viable product on the backlot to rot. Surveillance satellites show trucks unloading the plant’s newest meat source. It’s people. Of course it’s people.

Wisconsin’s restaurants are reopening and people are on every menu. Food trucks are serving blood battered limbs and even ice cream vans have a new assortment of toppings.

Disheartened by the carnage Governor Tony Evers said, “It’s like a Transylvanian blood orgy out there. I tried to keep people safe, but Justices Corpsewood, Paganmilk, Thornpierce, and Veintide voted me down. I can only recommend that people avoid crowded spaces, especially ones where virgins might congregate.”

Meanwhile Minnesota is planting garlic along the state lines. Michigan is digging a mote of holy water. Iowa is lining their edge with cheval de frise embattlements. And Illinois is lighting their border on fire.

More on the story as it develops.

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Continue reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Votes to Invite Vampires into all Dwellings